VIDEO - Chuck Hawks on Driving Today

VideoChuck Hawks turned a career in the motorsport and automotive industries into being the CEO of Teen Driving Solutions School, a US non-profit organization. In this TED Talk, Chuck speaks about the state of driving in the US today. His opinion is not a flattering one. It's not much different in Canada.

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Chuck Hawks’ TED talk was an ah hah moment for me as he is articulating what I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen - it’s too easy to obtain a drivers license or as your students demonstrate consistently - it’s too easy to retain a drivers license.

The sad reality in watching this was; however, that the same messages can be applied to cyclists. We are the only road user category (on wheels at least) that does not have to demonstrate competency. Yet if I raise the specter of licensing cyclists my fellow advocates (for lack of a better description) bristle at the notion.

I perked up when I heard the word panacea when he talked about the advent of driverless cars because the parallel in cycling dialogue is separated bike lanes. We are spending a pittance on cyclist education because the lobby for spending on an infrastructure solution is overwhelming.

I'm not sure if this guy is a parallel universe traveler, but in my dimension the South American countries are waaaay below on road safety numbers compared to USA, whether deaths per 100k pop, or per 100k vehicles. The only South American country that sits (marginally) above USA currently on road fatalities per 100k population is Chile, but at the same time Chile has 4 times the fatalities per 100k vehicles than the USA. The uncontrolled intersection shown incurs statistically many more accidents than a controlled intersection. Those countries didn't do anything better or more than what USA did, they did less.

You can straight up buy licenses there, in Canada and the USA bought licenses fraud gets uncovered fast, and employees get charged and all fraudulent license holders have their licenses revoked.

True that schools teach to pass the exam, and true that the exam should be exhaustive. The road exam is the only opportunity the licensing authority has to qualify a driver, it should not be cut down to 5 minutes, but I have a feeling that the presenter may also be relying on his parallel universe data when describing road tests being 5 minutes.